There’s plenty to keep couples happy on a weekend break in Worthing and Lancing. Learn to kitesurf, check out the art galleries or explore by bike, paddle and on foot.
There’s no shortage of kitesurf schools along this glorious stretch of West Sussex coast. Most offer a choice of private and group kitesurfing lessons, lasting anywhere from a few hours to five days.
Whether one or both of you are serious about learning to kitesurf, it’s likely that lessons will take up much of your time – but that’s ok. This itinerary is designed to run parallel to a kitesurfing schedule, giving you the option to do your own thing and meet up when the timings work, or dip in and out of the activities depending on the extent of your lessons.
You should bear in mind that kitesurfing takes place around the tide and wind, so allow for some flex around your timings.
Ideal for: Couples, solo travellers
Themes: Beaches, watersports, arts and culture
Location: Lancing, Worthing, Shoreham
Getting there and around: Worthing is an hour and 20 minutes by train from London Victoria. Once there, it’s easy to get around. The 700 bus runs along the coast and operates after hours as a night bus.
Get wet: If you’re not as interested in kitesurfing but keen to get in the water, or if the wind isn’t as blowy as you’d like, have a go at stand-up paddleboarding (SUP). Book an introduction to the sport with Brighton Kitesurf & SUP Academy on the River Adur in Shoreham. Hop off the 700 bus at Shoreham footbridge, then walk 20 minutes to the meeting point. If you’d prefer to stay in Worthing, K66 Boardriders can be found on East Beach, offering tasters, lessons and hire.
Stay dry: Fill your lungs with the sea air on a stroll along the elegant Grade II-listed Art Deco Worthing Pier. Pause to admire Art on the Pier on your way to the beautiful Southern Pavilion at the pier’s tip, where you can feast on tea and cake as you gaze across the waves. After the pier, be sure to allow some time for a ride on the Worthing Observation Wheel, the largest observation wheel on the south coast. On a clear day you can see from Brighton to Bognor, with views over the South Downs towards Arundel, Pulborough and Dial Post.
Grab a fish mezze, a vegan Buddha bowl or a burger for lunch at Coast Café and Bar on the beach in Worthing. Coast is also a great spot for sundown and dancing in the summer months, so check out what they’ve got planned for later in the day.
Next, kick off a cultural afternoon at East Beach Studios, a series of colourful studios next door to Coast, crammed with everything crafty from fine arts to silver jewellery and crochet badges. A short walk into Worthing’s centre is Colonnade House, home to another lively collection of creative studios and exhibitions of local art. Finish with a wander through one of the largest costume collections in the country at Worthing Museum & Art Gallery, which also hosts a variety of exhibitions and events.
Dine at Pitch, a new contemporary British restaurant, where MasterChef Champion 2018 Kenny Tutt’s exquisite menu celebrates Sussex’s flavours and produce.
There’s no shortage of accommodation in and around Worthing. The Burlington Hotel, set within a Victorian house on the promenade, is the town’s oldest hotel, reputedly visited by Oscar Wilde and Charles Dickens. Just along the promenade, the family run Marine View Guest House has sea views for those on a budget, plus a secure garage for storing watersports equipment. For longer stays, Gallops Farm Holiday Cottages offer self-catering set-ups on a family run farm in the peaceful South Downs, just five miles north of Worthing.
In Lancing, Beach Green Hotel is an affordable option with a restaurant, bar and beer garden, whilst Amberley House Holiday Cottages have plenty of charming self-catering cottages dotted along the coast.
Follow the seafront to Perch at Lancing Beach and, if the wind is right, watch the kitesurfers do their thing as you breakfast on pancakes and smoothie bowls.
Gorge on coastal views as you pedal west for 4.5 miles (7km) along the seafront to Goring. If you don’t have your own wheels, hire a bright orange Donkey Bike. Keen riders can hire demo bikes from Quest Adventure (from £40/day). Quest also run monthly guided rides and are the people to talk to for local road and mountain biking route recommendations.
If the weather takes a turn, catch a film at Worthing Dome. This Edwardian building is one of the oldest working cinemas in England and its opulent interior has featured in some of the very films that have been screened here over the years.
Fill up on fresh local fish for lunch at Sea Lane Café, Goring-by-Sea. It’s right on Goring’s Blue Flag beach and the views are as moreish as the food.
Get wet: Take advantage of calm seas and put your new SUP skills to the test with a spot of stand-up paddle boarding in Worthing. Or, stay and enjoy the open space of Goring Gap where Glo Wellbeing, close to the Sea Lane Café, does SUP hire and lessons tailored for everyone from first-timers to advanced paddlers. If it’s busy there, take a wander further west where you can hire a kayak or a SUP from the Sussex Surf School.
Stay dry: Stretch your legs on land with a walk to Cissbury Ring. On a clear day, the views from this ancient hill fort reach from the Isle of Wight to the white cliffs beyond Brighton, plus you might also glimpse rare butterflies and New Forest ponies. To get there, catch bus numbers 1 or 23 from Worthing town centre to May Tree Avenue, Findon, from where it’s about a 30-minute walk to Cissbury Ring. There are plenty of opportunities to turn this into a longer walk, with the South Downs Way only around 2 miles (3km) away, and the countryside between laced with footpaths.
Worthing has a Purple Flag Award for its safe and vibrant nightlife experience, so have a night on the town. Start with an al fresco dinner in the Corner House pub’s pretty beer garden or try Beach House for gourmet burgers and cocktails with views of Worthing Pier.
Stomachs lined, spend the rest of the evening sampling Worthing’s drinking spots. Wet your whistle at tiny micropub, Brooksteed Alehouse, and then head to The Old Bike Store, which serves a weekly changing selection of ales in – you guessed it – an old bike shop! Finish up with live music and a grand selection of gin at The Libertine Social.